The Jeep Gladiator Has Reviewers Confused
Taste is subjective. That said, it is still a bit odd that Consumer Reports and Edmunds have completely different takes on the 2023 Jeep Gladiator pickup truck. Consumer Reports has the Jeep Gladiator ranked very poorly for pickup trucks, but Edmunds has the same truck ranked second only to the Honda Ridgeline. What’s going on here?
Which site is better, Consumer Reports or Edmunds?
Consumer Reports and Edmunds often disagree, but not usually this much. As previously mentioned, taste is subjective. There is nothing wrong with these two reputable publications liking different pickup trucks. The strange part is that the 2023 Honda Ridgeline is ranked number one on Edmunds, and up until the Ford Maverick came out, it shared that same rank on Consumer Reports.
So, we see two publications with the same opinion of what they think is the best pickup truck, but the No. two spots couldn’t be further from one another.
Is the 2023 Jeep Gladiator a good pickup truck?
Consumer Reports rated it lower than any other pickup truck. It’s loud, uncomfortable, inefficient, unreliable, hard to drive, and, frankly, all-around unpleasant. While these are fair critiques objectively, Jeep Wranglers and Gladiators aren’t really meant to be judged objectively. In my opinion, Jeeps are similar to exotic supercars in this way; they are meant to deliver you a particular feeling, not necessarily an objectively “good” truck.
Edmunds seems to take a more dialed approach to rate the Jeep Gladiator based on what it is instead of compared to everything else on the market. In this case, I feel like this approach is helpful.
The truth is, the Jeep Gladiator isn’t meant to be compared to a Toyota Tacoma; it barely shares the same segment. Edmunds points to factors like the Gladiator’s strengths off-road and as a towing vehicle. Edmunds also points to the fun factor that only Jeeps provide, like it is the only convertible truck on the market. I won’t argue that that makes it a better truck, but it’s undeniably fun.
People love a Jeep
I can attest to both arguments as a Jeep Wrangler owner of 11 years. The Jeep Wrangler (or Wrangler-based vehicles like the Gladiator) aren’t very practical or comfortable. Objectively they aren’t very good at being a car for everyday use. However, the reason we see so many of these boxes on wheels is because of that fun factor. Jeeps are irreverent to the rest of the car world. They are what they want to be without considering the competition.
People love Jeeps. Granted, the Gladiator hasn’t proven to be as popular as the Wrangler, but it still catches plenty of Wrangler-esque love.
Trying to figure out how to feel about Jeeps is tough. That’s why I write about this subject so often. I feel that, eventually, I might figure out the right combination of words that clarify my feelings. Until then, the glaring differences between Consumer Reports’ and Edmund’s views on the Jeep Gladiator will have to do as a metaphor. It’s either one of the greatest pickup trucks on Earth or one of the worst. You choose.